Louis Jordan - Ram-Bunk-Shush - Classic Blues Videos
grooving on television show The!!!! Beat in 1966
Louis Jordan and the Tympany Five perform "Ram-Bunk-Shush" on the television show The!!!! Beat in 1966. With..... Leo Belvin -guitar, Chris Columbo - drums, Kenny Andrews - Hammond B-3, and Napoleon Fuller - tenor sax.
Louis Jordan was one of the most successful African-American musicians of the 20th century, ranking fifth in the list of the all-time most successful black recording artists according to Billboard magazine's chart methodology. Though comprehensive sales figures are not available, he scored at least four million-selling hits during his career. Jordan regularly topped the R&B "race" charts, and was one of the first black recording artists to achieve a significant "crossover" in popularity into the mainstream (predominantly white) American audience, scoring simultaneous Top Ten hits on the white pop charts on several occasions. After Duke Ellington and Count Basie, Louis Jordan was probably the most popular and successful black bandleader of his day. But in contrast to almost all of his colleagues of all races, he was a major personality in his own right, an all-round entertainer of enormous and diverse accomplishments.
Jordan was a talented singer with great comedic flair, and he fronted his own band for more than twenty years. He duetted with some of the biggest solo singing stars of his day, including Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Jordan was also an actor and a major black film personality—he appeared in dozens of "soundies" (promotional film clips), made numerous cameos in mainstream features and short films, and starred in two musical feature films made especially for him. He was an instrumentalist who specialized in the alto saxophone but played all forms of the instrument, as well as piano and clarinet. A productive songwriter, many of the songs he wrote or co-wrote became influential classics of 20th-century popular music.
Although Jordan began his career in big band swing jazz in the 1930s, he became famous as one of the leading practitioners, innovators and popularizers of "jump blues", a swinging, up-tempo, dance-oriented hybrid of jazz, blues and boogie-woogie. Typically performed by smaller bands consisting of five or six players, jump music featured shouted, highly syncopated vocals and earthy, comedic lyrics on contemporary urban themes. It strongly emphasized the rhythm section of piano, bass and drums; after the mid-1940s, this mix was often augmented by electric guitar. Jordan's band also pioneered the use of electric organ.
With his dynamic Tympany Five bands, Jordan mapped out the main parameters of the classic R&B, urban blues and early rock'n'roll genres with a series of hugely influential 78 rpm discs for the Decca label. These recordings presaged many of the styles of black popular music in the 1950s and 1960s, and exerted a huge influence on many leading performers in these genres. Many of his records were produced by Milt Gabler, who went on to refine and develop the qualities of Jordan's recordings in his later production work with Bill Haley, including "Rock Around The Clock".
Louis Jordan is described by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as “the Father of Rhythm & Blues” and “the Grandfather of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” He is one of a number of seminal black performers who are often credited with inventing rock and roll, or at least providing many of the building blocks for the music. Jordan was the greatest post-war exponent of the jump blues style, one of the prototypes of rock and roll, and he paved the way for Roy Brown, Wynonie Harris, Tiny Bradshaw and others. Jordan also strongly influenced Bill Haley & His Comets, whose producer, Milt Gabler, had also worked with Jordan and attempted to incorporate Jordan's stylings into Haley's music. Haley also honored Jordan by recording several of his songs, including "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" (which Gabler co-wrote) and "Caldonia."
Among Jordan's biggest fans were Little Richard and Chuck Berry. Berry clearly modeled his musical approach on Jordan's, changing the text from black life to teenage life, and substituting cars and girls for Jordan's primary motifs of food, drink, money and girls. Jordan's guitarist, Carl Hogan, was a particularly direct influence on Berry's guitar style, as can be heard on the 1946 hit "Ain't That Just Like A Woman"; Hogan's opening single-note solo on the song was lifted essentially note-for-note by Berry on his iconic opening riff on "Johnny B. Goode". Jordan was also an obvious and substantial influence on British-based jump blues exponent Ray Ellington, who became famous through his appearances on The Goon Show.
James Brown has also specifically cited Jordan as a major influence because of his multi-faceted talent. In the 1992 documentary Lenny Henry Hunts The Funk Brown said that Jordan had influenced him "... in every way. He could sing, he could dance, he could play, he could act. He could do it all."
Jordan's vocal style was arguably an important precursor to rap. His 1947 sister tracks, "Beware (Brother Beware)" and "Look Out (Sister)", entirely delivered as spoken rhyming couplets, can arguably be classified as one of the very first true "raps" in popular music. "Saturday Night Fish Fry" (1950) also features a rapid-fire, highly syncopated semi-spoken vocal delivery that is strongly reminiscent of the modern rap style.
There are many collections currently available, so this section only mentions some of the most notable.
The Bear Family label in Germany has released a comprehensive nine-CD collection of Jordan's work (Let the Good Times Roll: the Complete Decca Recordings 1938-1954).
The Proper Records label in the UK has also released a low priced four-CD, 102-track compilation (Jivin' With Jordan) that includes all of Jordan's seminal work from his Decca years.
The most comprehensive single-disc collection of Jordan's hit recordings is 'The Best of Louis Jordan'.
Wikipedia contributors. "Louis Jordan." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 30 Jun. 2011. Web. 8 Jul. 2011.